If you haven’t already got an editorial calendar set up for several months in advance, now is a good time to do a little bit of planning. You’re probably doing some goal setting for your business, so adding your blog planning into the mix will help you get ready for the New Year.
Here’s my 5 step process, so that it’s not another chore, but a fun activity you can do in an afternoon.
Step 1 – Get into the right frame of mind
As this is going to be a creative process, you want to find somewhere comfortable. Put on some music that inspires you (Viking battle music works well for me – don’t judge) and have a drink and some snacks ready. You can do it as a team or on your own, whatever works for your particular situation.
Step 2 – Be clear about your blogging goals
It’s always a good idea to know why you’re doing something. So, if you haven’t already done it in your general planning, set some goals for your blog. Do you want to increase traffic by a certain amount or do you want to grow your email list? Maybe both? Or do you want to use the coming year to establish yourself as the expert in your field? This will drive the type of content you will want to create.
Step 3 – Brainstorm ideas
Once you’ve sorted your goals, it’s time to get really creative. Refer back to your running list of ideas that you’ve been updating whenever ideas come rolling in (yes, the list I keep harping on about, whenever I talk about coming up with ideas for your blogging) and pull out all the ideas you haven’t used yet that work well with your goals.
Pull together all your FAQs, your other customer questions and inquiries, questions you’ve been asked on social media, etc. What else can you talk about? Here are some previous blog posts, if you’re not coming up with at least 50 ideas on your own.
Why so many? Well, you do want to blog weekly, don’t you?
Step 4 – Sorting
Now sort all those ideas into 4 or 5 themes or topic groups. This could be by product, service, or customer group – choose what makes sense for your business. So, if you’re a photographer, your themes could be weddings, portraits, pets, children/family and general photography tips.
Step 5 – Allocate publication dates to finish your blog planning
This is the final step. Create a table/spreadsheet/calendar type document and slot an idea into each week, alternating themes so that you talk about every theme once per month. To stay with our example of the photographer: 1st week of the month: weddings, 2nd week: portraits, 3rd week: pets, etc. As some months have 5 weeks, you can use the general photography tips for those random 5th weeks.
You are done with your blog planning. Reward yourself with a mince pie. 😊
Now when January starts, you know exactly which week you will be writing about which topic. No need to panic that you’re running out of things to say. You’re prepared. Just make sure you pick a certain day every week as your blogging day. Mine is Thursday. That’s when all my blog posts are written. You can check, if you like!
Over to you …
Now you have the tools, simply get started. You’ll be glad you did when you get to the first week in the New Year and you’re all organised.
If you found this blog post useful, please share it online using one of the sharing buttons. Thank you!